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Foods -- Seafood

What is the best way to evaluate freshness in seafood?

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Whether you are purchasing products as a consumer or evaluating them as a government inspector, odor and appearance are the best means of assessing freshness. Products that have a strong, objectionable odor or have an ammonia odor should be rejected. When evaluating whole fish, look at the eyes - they should be clear and should not be sunken. The gills should be bright red and free from slime. Scales should be firmly attached to skin, and the skin should be shiny and not faded. (Characteristic colors and markings fade as fresh fish get older.) For dressed or filleted products, avoid those that show signs of discoloration.

SOURCE: Donn Ward, Ph.D., Joyce Taylor, and David Green, Ph.D., Department of Food Science, NC State University

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